Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

We are having this Central Coast California Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 on this November Sunday evening. I made a slow-cooking lasagna (in the crock pot) that I hope will be tasty. Along with the lasagna, I am having steamed cauliflower and baked squash (both vegetables from my food co-op share), and some of my leftover bread that I made yesterday.

I got this bottle from our basement collection because nothing that we have upstairs seemed the right fit for our dinner. This was a good choice. This is big and bold enough for our lasagna dinner. This is a medium body red with chocolate and espresso taste and a very velvety finish.

As we start Thanksgiving week, I am very aware of that for which we are thankful and that for which we should be thankful (but don’t always acknowledge). Life is pretty darn good.

337 Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

Happy Friday! We are so happy to be at the end of a busy week. Tom had an out-of-town business trip and I had a recovery week from an out-of-town business meeting. So, now we are hunkering down, back at home, cozy and warm, listening to music, reading the paper, processing our week.

First, a shout out to two of my neighbors. First, Janet! She gave us a gift today. A book called “The History of Michigan Wines” by Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis. We will enjoy this book immensely. Thank you, Janet, for thinking of us when you saw this book. We love you and your husband. And we adore your three children.

Second, thank you Michele! I was making dinner tonight and went to my vegetable drawer for an onion and “Yikes!” I had no onion! So, I called Michele and she said, “Of course I have an onion. I can’t cook without onions and garlic.” So, I was able to run next door and get an onion for my dinner. When I picked up the onion, she also gave me some fresh beets, because she knows how much I love them. I can always count on Michele and her generosity.

Aren’t I lucky to have such great neighbors?

Back to the wine. . .delicious. This is a well structured wine with oaky aromas, medium body and intense chocolate flavor. The finish is long and very satisfying. I bought this 337 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 for $13.99 at a wine shop that I recently discovered. I continue to find reasons to say that I love California Cabernets and this is one of them.This one is from Lodi.

This will go well with our dinner of navy bean soup and homemade bread.

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

This Chilean Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is my choice for our Monday evening. I bought this particular bottle on my way home from shopping one day when I happened to see a liquor store/wine shop. We needed vermouth and that was all I was going to get. However, the array of wines caught my attention and I walked out with six bottles. This was one of them recommended by the owner.

This is going on my list to buy again. This is a medium-body wine that is bursting with flavor. The most overwhelming taste is chocolate followed by dark fruit and coffee. This is our kind of wine. We are both pretty much swooning over this one.

This will go well with our dinner tonight: Beef Stroganoff with sauteed carrots and salad.

Renieri Rosso Di Montalcino 2008

I am at a restaurant in  Little Italy in Baltimore with members of a committee that is meeting through Thursday.

A very charming restaurant with delicious food! The group graciously asked me to choose the wine, which was a fun duty. I did pick a great one, I must say!

My tasting notes are very sparse. I was busy talking and did not take tasting notes. Everyone seemed to enjoy the wine. I certainly did. I would love to find this in a store and have it again.

Concannon Petite Sirah (2005)

This hearty bottle of California Concannon Petite Sirah was on sale at the Plum Market so I bought several bottles.

It is a great value. Lots of red fruit flavor with a silky feel and full body.

I did some baking this afternoon and took a picture of my homemade oatmeal, walnut and chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of whole wheat bread fresh out of the oven.

Mouton Cadet Bordeaux (2007)

Tom bought this Mouton Cadet Bordeaux 2007 today while I was out running around Saturday errands. This was a beautiful November day in Michigan. Sunny. Breezy. Crisp. I love it! I have to admit that I love these 50- degree days even more than the 80-degree days. It is so beautiful.

So I made a pot roast today, which I started at about 3:30 in the afternoon. I started with a roast from the local grass-fed cow (I bought an 1/8th of it). I dredged the roast in flour and cracked pepper and then browned it in hot butter. Once it was brown on all sides, I put it in a pot and covered it with a mixture of cream of mushroom soup mixed with white wine. I covered and baked at 325 for 3 1/2 hours until it was fork tender. We had this with a roasted sweet potato and fresh green beans from my food co op.

This Bordeaux was the perfect choice. A medium bodied wine with a roundness in the mouth. I am having a difficult time describing the flavor. What is notable to me is the feel of this wine in the mouth. The taste is old world. . .not grapey. . .a touch of tobacco with significant tannins.

We like this very much. A definite buy again for us!

Castillo del Ciego Rioja

It is election night and I plan to watch some TV tonight to see the results. I hurried home from work today to walk Trigger because Tom is out of town on business. Trigger and I walked the mile or so to the voting place. I was hoping I could take her with me and, happily, no one objected. Trigger followed me as I went through the various lines to pick up my ballot. She waited patiently at my side while I filled in all those little circles on the ballots and a nice lady at the check out cooed and petted her on our way out. A great way to vote! I was happy not to have to get back in my car.

So, here we are, Trigger and I, listening to music, reading the paper, and waiting for our dinner to come out of the oven. I am reading the paper and enjoying some music.

I chose this Castillo del Ciego Rioja carefully — not because of food pairings but because I didn’t want to open a wine that should be shared since i am here by myself. So that is how I landed on this Rioja. Our son Tony would Like this one. He very much enjoys reds from South America.

This wine is very bright red in the glass. It suggest that this is a young wine, although i can’t find a date on the bottle. The taste is oaky with vanilla and strawberry notes. The body is light to medium.

I like this one. It seems like the appropriate solitary wine for a quiet night by myself.

Don Manuel Carmenere (2009)

A very busy week and weekend in our household. We have so much going on it is really a challenge. But here we are having this delicious Chilean wine — Don Manuel Carmenere 2009 — with a scrumptious dinner.

What I most love about this wine is the luscious color (deep, dark, blackish red) and the finish (dark chocolate with a hint of coffee).

Love this. . .